We are led to believe that the dinosaurs mysteriously died out millions of years ago, but what if that’s not entirely true?
What if some sneaky species hid from the giant meteor/ice age/time traveling robot cowboys with lasers at the bottom of the planets deepest lakes and oceans? Well there are those out there who think that may be the case, and what’s more they claim to have spotted the evidence (unfortunately never when they had a good quality camera to hand).
If you want to go try your hand at finding one of these mythical beasts then you might want to begin with our list of the top 5 most frequently spotted. Just remember to pack a camera.
Possibly the most famous lake beast in the world, Nessie has been the subject of numerous studies, books and films (both factual and fiction) and even has its own fan club.
Sightings first attracted public attention in 1933, when motorist George Spicer and his wife claimed to have seen the beast crossing in front of their car heading towards the loch. Soon it began to seem you couldn’t skim a pebble across the surface without hitting a prehistoric monster and in 1934 national press published a picture which supposedly showed the neck and body of a creature reminiscent of a plesiosaur, a supposedly long-extinct aquatic dinosaur.
The picture’s creators only admitted it was a hoax in 1999 and despite numerous expeditions to catch the beast no solid evidence of its existence has ever been collected.
With a 125-mile long stretch of water to hide in maybe it’s no surprise that the monster of Lake Champlain, affectionately known as Champ, has never been caught.
They may both be prehistoric, but Champ wins over Nessie when it comes to the history of sightings, with legends of a giant lake monster known as ‘Tatoskok’ recorded from two of the nearby Native American tribes.
The first newspaper report of a sighting came in 1819 and over the years hundreds of visitors to the lake claim to have spotted a creature with a bizarre snake-like neck estimated to be as tall as 30 feet. The most convincing picture of Champ was taken in 1977 by a passing holidaymaker and although many have taken it as definitive evidence of the existence of Champ, others have dismissed it as a piece of driftwood.
Champ has proven a significant draw for tourists to the town of Burlington, Vermont, and locals will be happy to sell you a t-shirt or cap featuring the famous monster, whether you believe or not.
Possibly one of the best described of the world’s mysterious lake and sea monsters, the Ogopogo is said to be between 30-50ft long, with an undulating, serpent-like body, a long, thin neck and a rather horse-like head.
The creature is said to live in the Okanagan Lake in British Colombia and since sightings began in the late 1700s hundreds of hunts have been launched to capture evidence of its existence, so far without success.
The Ogopogo is frequently referenced in popular culture and was even used for the codename and mascot for Microsoft Publisher 97 while it was in development.
Anybody who has watched Pirates of the Caribbean will be familiar with the legend of this ocean-dwelling giant squid which can envelop an entire ship in its mighty tentacles.
Kraken are mentioned in Norse mythology and are said to live off the coast of Iceland and Norway. According to legend Kraken would wait on the sea floor surrounded by large numbers of fish which it would feed off and in turn feed with its faeces. For this reason daring fishermen would seek to cast nets above the resting place of Kraken looking for a bumper haul.
Modern scientists believe the legend could be attributed to schools of giant squid breaking the surface together.
Named after Cadboro Bay, British Columbia, the Cadborosaurus, affectionately known as Caddy, has been spotted at a rate of at least half a dozen times a year since the 1940s.
Caddy is said to be one of a pair of aquatic reptiles, with his mate Amy. Its length is estimated to be between 40-70ft and, like Ogopogo, it is said to resemble a serpent with coils and humps and a horse-like head.
In 1946 there were so many sightings of Caddy and Amy that a plan was devised to capture one of the pair and put it on display in Vancouver’s swimming pool. The idea was eventually vetoed by supporters of the sea beasts.
The lack of evidence may cause you to doubt the existence of such outlandish-sounding beasts, but who can really say what lurks in the depths? Next time you take a dip in the sea or a lake just consider what might be waiting in the water to greet you.
Tom Parnell is a writer who has never seen a sea monster but is working with the nice people at Monster to promote receptionist jobs.